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Hospital births in Canada fall for first time in a decade: report

A child nurses in Vancouver, B.C., on August 7, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO - A new report suggests that fewer babies are being born in Canada than in the past.

The report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that about 5,600 infants were born in hospitals in 2010-2011 — about 1.5 per cent fewer than the year before.

The report says this is the first time since 2002-2003 that hospitals have recorded a drop in births.

The rate of babies born prematurely before 37 weeks has remained relatively stable at 1 in 12 births, although rates varied among provinces and territories.

Alberta and Ontario had the highest rates of preterm births at more than eight per cent, while Quebec was the only province significantly below the national rate of 7.9 per cent.

Caesarean-section rates have remained stable over the years, but women age 35 and older had significantly higher C-section rates than their younger counterparts.

The report also shows that hospital admission rates have dropped 31 per cent since 1995.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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